Investigation of microplastics contamination in drinking water of a German city.

Affiliation

Weber F(1), Kerpen J(2), Wolff S(2), Langer R(2), Eschweiler V(2).
Author information:
(1)Institute for Environmental and Process Engineering, Hochschule RheinMain, University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 3251, 65022 Wiesbaden, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Institute for Environmental and Process Engineering, Hochschule RheinMain, University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 3251, 65022 Wiesbaden, Germany.

Abstract

The drinking water of a German city was investigated for microplastics. Random samples were taken from three house connections, one transfer station, and five consumption taps in an educational institution, an apartment, a single-family house, a residential building, and a commercial enterprise. The sample volumes ranged from 0.25-1.3 m3. A stainless-steel membrane served as a sampling filter. HCl was used for the acidic digestion of the inorganic precipitates. Raman micro spectroscopy was used for the analysis of microplastic particles. The detection limit was 10 μm. Particles and fibers ≥100 μm were measured on 100% of the filter area, while particles and fibers <100 μm were measured on 50% of the filter area. The analytical procedure was validated by determining recovery rates and analyses of blanks. In addition to microplastics, pigmented particles and fibers were also analyzed. Neither microplastic particles and fibers nor pigmented particles and fibers were detected at house connections and the transfer station. No microplastics were detected in any sample at consumption taps. At one tap, 113 ± 83 copper phthalocyanine particles m-3 were detected.